Acute Injury Care

We have been using Firefly for almost all acute injury care, especially lower extremity. If a football player sustains a lower body injury, they will be given a Firefly unit and will be instructed to use the device on the injured side. The athlete will be advised to use the unit as much as they possibly can that night; the duration of our flight or bus ride (if the injury occurs during a game), or until they are going to bed for home games. I usually encourage the athlete to use the unit while sleeping with the caveat of do not allow them to keep you awake. Sleeping is more important than the blood flow at that point.

The athlete will then check in with us for treatment or med checks the next day. We encourage the athlete to get a session in that morning before they see us for about an hour. When the athlete arrives to the athletic training room they are re-evaluated and treated using our training room modalities, rehabs, or therapies. The athlete is instructed to get 2 more sessions of at least 1 hour each in that afternoon/evening. This would be 3 hours minimum with the Firefly on Day 1.

Moving forward into day 2 and beyond the athlete is instructed to use the Firefly when they have opportunities to sit for extended periods, i.e. during class, film, practice (if they are out), etc. In addition to treatment during long sitting periods they are advised to get 2 hours in before bed while watching TV or doing homework.

The athlete is instructed to use the Firefly device until it no longer has any battery life left. This will usually get them to about day 7-10. At this point the athlete has generally moved through the inflammatory phase and is more focused on remodeling and maturation. The athlete’s injury is then reevaluated to determine if they need to have another unit provided to them.

Recovery Protocol

When we are using it from a recovery standpoint, our sports performance staff has a red flag system of a spike in 3 metrics via our GPS system. If an athlete has a spike for 2 or more days in a row, they will get a 2 pack of Firefly’s to use throughout the week.

Athletes with high reps and high player loads in a game are also considered for Firefly’s depending on how they come out of the game. If an athlete feels “normal football sore” or no complaints, they are not given a Firefly. However, if they come out of the game and are still sore into Monday afternoon and their ACWR is above 1.3 from the game, they are provided a Firefly unit for the week and are instructed to use the unit for 2 hours a day in addition to other recovery modalities, hydration, sleep education, etc.


Andrew Bliz: Assistant Athletic Director – Football Director of Clinical Services.

February 11, 2024
Tags: Football